AAR reports mixed volumes for week ending June 16
Carload volume—at 287,036—was down 2.5 percent annually, and intermodal was up 5.2 percent at 249,975 trailers and containers.
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Rail carload and intermodal volumes were again mixed for the week ending June 16, according to data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Carload volume—at 287,036—was down 2.5 percent annually and slightly ahead of the week ending June 9 at 285,413 and the week ending June 2 at 265,207. Eastern carloads were down 3.3 percent annually, and out west carloads were down 2 percent.
Intermodal volumes—at 249,975—were up 5.2 percent compared to the same week last year and were ahead of the weeks ending June 9 and June 2, which came in at 246,422 and 213,911, respectively.
Of the 20 commodity groups tracked by the AAR, 12 were up annually. Petroleum products were up 50.3 percent, and motor vehicles and equipment were up 22.6 percent.
Iron and steel scrap loadings were down 21.2 percent, and coke loadings were down 12.6 percent, and metallic ore was down 18.5 percent
Carloads for the first 24 weeks of 2012—at 6,757,454—were down 3 percent compared to the first 24 weeks of 2011, and intermodal was up 3.1 percent at 6,757 trailers and containers.
Estimated ton-miles for the week ending June 16 were down 1.2 percent at 32.9 billion, and were down 2.2 percent on a year-to-date basis at 769.4 billion.
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Transportation of freight in containers was first recorded around 1780 to move coal along England’s Bridgewater Canal. However, "modern" intermodal rail service by a major U.S. railroad only dates back to 1936. Malcom McLean’s Sea-Land Service significantly advanced intermodalism, showing how freight could be loaded into a “container” and moved by two or more modes economically and conveniently. As with all new technologies, there were problems that slowed the growth, which influenced many potential customers to shy away from moving intermodal.
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